Blog Posts

Burning Bush

"In the beginning, there are a great many battles and a good deal of suffering for those who are advancing toward God and, afterward, ineffable joy. It is like those who wish to light a fire: at first they are choked by the smoke and cry, and by this means obtain what they seek. (As it is said, 'Our God is a consuming fire.') So we also must kindle the divine fire in ourselves through tears and hard work."

--Amma Syncletica, a Egyptian desert mother (4th century)

St Egeria 1

Welcome to the first post in what we hope will be a journey in its own right, a series of women writing about women saints, many of whom may be new to you or who you may see in a fresh light.


"On the next day, crossing the sea, I arrived at Constantinople, giving thanks to Christ our God who deigned to give me such grace, unworthy and undeserving as I am, for He had deigned to give me not only the will to go, but also the power of walking through the places that I desired..."  --St. Egeria

Myrrhbearing Women icon 3

It seems fitting to end our visit with the individual Myrrhbearers with a verse from the church recognizing what happened when they came together as a group for the Body of Christ. The verse is sung on Saturday night in many of our churches before the Resurrection, before they know He has trampled down death by death:

St Mary of Egypt by Fr Jerome Sanderson

How do we know a Saint?  St. Mary of Egypt is given a prominent position in the Lenten season, before Palm Sunday in the church calendar and enfolded in the majestic Canon of St Andrew of Crete.

This reflection is a review and meditation on the book “The Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete and the Life of St Mary of Egypt” by two  Orthodox nuns from England, Abbess Thekla and Mother Katherine. They offer context and commentary on this service that is observed this week in Lent. They pay particular attention to St. Mary of Egypt: both the record of her life as told by the monk Sophronius,and the person herself.

Annunciation, by Eileen McGuckin
On March 25, those of us on the New Calendar celebrated one of the 12 Great Feasts of the Orthodox calendar, the Annunciation. Those of us on the Old Calendar celebrated just yesterday.
This is a photo of an icon by Eileen McGuckin which I am honored to have in my icon corner at home.  I especially chose this from her gallery because I love its sense of time standing still.  Gabriel speaks to Mary, his news is momentous, and she is leaning towards him trying to understand what his message could possibly mean. The colors are vivid. Their expressions are wondrous with awe, and marvel, and incomprehension.
St. Xenia of Petersburg by R. Lentz

To mark April Fool's Day, we thought we'd take a moment to post a prayer service to St. Xenia of Petersburg, Fool For Christ. You can learn about her life in many places, as she is a much beloved saint for those looking for help in finding a job, a spouse, or a home, save a marriage, or healing mental illness. We suggest this site if you want to learn more about her.  

We found this akathist at St. Gregory Outreach. You can read it by yourself, or with friends or family, if so inclined.

Donna WOW 1a

This is our fourth and final week of celebrating Women’s History Month by highlighting the roles that women are already doing in the Church — roles that we tend to assume only men are allowed to fulfill. Last week we looked at women in leadership roles at church organizations. This week we’ll talk about women who act as theologians, liturgists, and homilists.